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Smartphones Will Account for More than One-Third of Ecommerce Sales in 2019

Smartphone retail mcommerce sales will reach $203.94 billion in 2019, making up 34% of all US ecommerce sales. While desktop purchases still dominate—amounting to $331.85 billion in 2019—they are growing at a rate of just 5.0%.

This year, more than half of smartphone users will make at least one digital purchase from their device. And average annual spend per smartphone shopper will be $1,763.

Younger shoppers are using mobile apps to shop at higher rates than older demographics. According to data provided to eMarketer by Bizrate Insights, 61% of US internet users ages 18 to 34 had used a mobile retail app to purchase a product or service in the past month.

Adobe’s 2019 Brand Content Survey showed that 29% of US digital device users ages 18 to 22 named a brand’s mobile app as the top channel used to purchase an item.

The data from Bizrate Insights and Adobe also includes app-based purchases via tablet. We estimate that tablets do have a higher purchase penetration—with 69.7% of users being mobile buyers—but also fewer monthly active users than smartphones, with far less growth.

Tablet retail ecommerce sales will total $63.12 billion in 2019, growing at 9.9% year over year.

“As retailers improve their mobile app experience, we are finally seeing the mobile monetization gap narrowing,” said eMarketer principal analyst Andrew Lipsman. “Not only are they providing customers with more reasons to download their apps—particularly with features that enhance the in-store shopping experience—but they have removed traditional barriers to purchase. Improved personalization, prepopulated payment info and faster checkout have helped streamline the path to conversion.”

For marketers, the rise in mobile app usage could also serve as a valuable source of first-party data. According to a September 2018 survey conducted by Advertiser Perceptions and MightyHive, 82% of US senior digital marketers considered their first-party mobile app analytics data to be "very important" to their marketing and advertising decisions.